After more than 40 years of working with couples, I've noticed a pattern of unintentional emotional limits. I have told men to be honest and open about how they feel so they can have better, deeper relationships. Men don't always find it easy to talk about their feelings and be open. Men have been taught by our culture to hide their feelings.
Boys have a lot of different feelings, but they need help to understand and talk about them. In the past, they were not encouraged to think about or talk about their feelings. Being vulnerable means telling someone the truth because we are letting them see into our hearts and souls.
And accept that they make us human. Brene Brown has written a book called "Atlas of the Heart." In this book, she defines and describes 150 emotions that once identified and understood, can help us connect to one another.
Try out your feelings. This means trying out different ways to show how you feel, even if you make a mistake or don't understand what you're feeling. In therapy or with your partner, you might start by noticing a tightness in your stomach or neck and then
Vulnerability can be seen as a weakness, and in our society and in many others, feelings and emotions have been seen as things to avoid, especially for men. If recognising and accepting feelings can make a relationship better and stronger, let's keep working on embracing everything that makes us human and getting more comfortable with being vulnerable.
So many men tell me that they don't tell their wives the truth or how they feel because their wives would get upset. They may have tried to speak up in the past, but their partners shut them down. When one partner is so set on "their way," the other partner gets pushed around. As men start talking about how they feel, it may be hard for their partners to hear that they have resentments or frustrations that they have been hiding to keep the peace.
Just as any new skill takes practice, expressing feelings in a kind and respectful way takes repetition. Imagine the heart speaking in truth and openness.